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Kerman Week 4 – Op. 18, No. 5 – The First Third of Chapter 3By Eric Wagner, guest blogger.
This week please read sections one and two of chapter 3 (pg. 54 - 64) and listen to Op. 18, No. 5. Please comment on this week’s chapter and continue to comment on previous weeks’ chapters.
One might see this quartet as Beethoven’s deepest homage to Mozart, patterned on a piece one might see as Mozart’s deepest homage to Haydn. Kerman sees Beethoven looking backward here in an effort to figure out how to leap forward. A strong indication of the leap forward will come in the finale to Op. 18, No. 6, and the actual leap will come with the Eroica Symphony.
The Yeats scholar Ian Fletcher once told me, “Sometimes you have to go back to the day before yesterday.” One can see this in Beethoven’s fascination with the church modes at the end of life, as well as in the Ramones’ love of the Beach Boys.